Magistrate Pa Modou Njie of the Bunding Magistrates’ Court has recently acquitted and discharged one Lamin Nyandou who was facing a charge of drug possession before him.
Nyandou was charged by prosecutors for the possession of 300 grams of Cannabis sativa, a prohibited drug on or about 7th May, 2014 at Kerr Serign.
Magistrate Njie said in his judgment that it is trite law that the burden of proving the convict guilty lies on the prosecution throughout the case.
In an attempt to discharge this burden, the magistrate said the prosecution called six witnesses and tendered the cautionary and voluntary statements of Nyandou.
He said from the totality of evidence adduced before the court, it had found inconsistency of the evidence of the prosecution witnesses, further stating that there was no evidence given that linked Nyandou to the cannabis.
Magistrate Njie said all evidences must be based on circumstantial evidence linking a person to the substance which he said was absent in the case. He pointed out that it is a trite law that mere presence at the crime scene does not form criminal liability.
Magistrate Njie said he had thoroughly scrutinised Nyandou’s cautionary statement and it was his view that it cannot be said to be confessional as he did not admit to having been in possession of cannabis nor did the statement suggest any inference that he was in possession of the alleged cannabis.
“In the light of this, I hold that the prosecution has failed to prove the charge against the accused person beyond reasonable doubt. He is hereby acquitted.”
by Modou Kanteh